Dana Point Nature Interpretive Center
I love visiting nature center with my kids, and the Dana Point Nature Interpretive Center is one of our favorites. We will often visit here during the peak of whale watching season seeing the whales from our binoculars from the Dana Point cliffs.
The nature center is located at 34558 Scenic Drive in Dana Point. The center is FREE to visit with your family, and I would allow at least a couple of hours to spend at this center. When your family first arrives, there is plenty of parking in the parking lot or on the neighboring streets.
Inside of the nature center are docents that love *love* children! They will spend hours talking to your children about the wildlife and plants if your family has the time. There are interactive exhibits, books and dioramas throughout the center that teach children about the plants/animals that live in the area.
tip…tip! Ask the docent to borrow a pair of binoculars before heading out to the headland’s trail (FREE!)
After, exploring the nature center, your family will be guided to a private trail that will take your family on a nature expedition. (this is where your family can spot whales & sea lions throughout the year)
The trail can go on for *forever*, so I only recommend going to the first or second set of benches before heading back (especially if you have younger kids). On the trail I recommend encouraging your children to walk *slow.* They will come across many birds and wildlife that can easily be missed when walking at a fast pace.
Recommendations: I will often see families having a picnic lunch/dinner at one of the private benches along the trails. Your kids are going to want to spend at least a couple of hours here exploring, so bring a snack or light lunch along with you! (make sure the kids are wearing tennis shoes – the path is very dusty)
Have fun exploring the nature center in Dana Point. It will quickly become your family favorite!
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